James H. Davis, III
James H. Davis III and his family moved to South Orange in 2008. He has been married to his wife Shanease for 17 years and they have four children ages 15, 13, and two that are 11-years old. James is a regulatory attorney for American Express in New York. He and his family are members of Fountain Baptist Church in Summit, New Jersey. James graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society and in 1994 with a J.D. from the University of Arizona.
James is also an active member of the South Orange community. Over the years, he has coached soccer teams for all of his four children or provided assistance to coaches when needed. The Davis’ are also member of the South Orange pool and enjoy attending music in the park at Flood’s Hill during the summer. James has also worked with the Achieve Foundation’s music division by volunteering to assist in helping the organization raise money for the district’s music programs and students. James’ passion for music and the arts run deep as he and his children play multiple instruments including, piano, violin, guitar, trombone, baritone and tuba. In whatever spare time he can find, James also likes to play golf.
Jordan M. Fields
CHS ‘16, University of Pittsburgh
Jordan Fields is a native of Maplewood and attended the township’s public schools, graduating from Columbia High School in 2016. She was a two-sport athlete in high school, earning varsity letters throughout her four years as the starting point guard on the girls’ basketball team and member of the nationally recognized girls’ track team. Jordan finished her career in basketball tying the school’s 3-points record. In track, she was one of the top horizontal jumpers in the nation, earning First Team All-State honors, in addition to All-Group and All-County designations, in the triple-jump. She was one of the founders of the Black Student Union at Columbia High School and the lead complainant in a landmark federal civil rights complaint filed by the ACLU and UCLA Civil Rights Project targeting discriminatory practices in the school district. After tendering multiple scholarship offers, Jordan enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh.
CHS ’16, New York University
Nina Kambili graduated from Columbia High School in 2016, where she was the student representative to the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education. This role familiarized her with the institutional challenges facing black students and parents in SOMA schools. She is passionate about empowering students, parents, and allies to become advocates to help their schools and communities reach their full potential. Currently, Nina is enrolled at New York University as a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar. She is pursuing a B.A. in Public Policy.
Tracey Jarmon-Woods was born in the state of Delaware and is the owner of the small business Modern Sky Art & Sound. As an artist, Jarmon – Woods hand designs and creates wall art reflective of social discourse which are featured in Art Galleries around New Jersey and are sold in local community fairs. Jarmon-Woods is the lead singer of the band called Trace that performs at numerous local venues. She also renders live performances at several facilities and hospitals for patients with dementia, the elderly and veterans with a diverse list of songs from the 30's to the 70's.
Jarmon-Woods is a military veteran who served as a Medic during Desert Storm. She attended Delaware State University and graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta. She has held managerial positions in both the medical field as well as with an internet company before becoming a successful realtor in New York. Jarmon-Woods resides with her husband and son in South Orange New Jersey is presently writing her first novel.
Parent Trustee - SoHUD Black Parents Workshop
Courtney Wicks, a parent-resident of Hoboken, is the Local Director of SoHUD Black Parents Workshop. She has written and proposed policy for the New Jersey State Legislature, the United States Congress, on behalf of issue advocacy organizations such as NARAL and various elected officials. Last year, Courtney organized two major statewide hearings on the state of affairs of law enforcement and New Jersey’s halfway house system for New Jersey’s Law and Public Safety Committee Chairman Charles Mainor. As a result, new legislative proposals and measures were introduced and if adopted will make New Jersey a national leader in public safety legislation.
Courtney Wicks is also a former student athlete. She received All- American awards for both soccer and basketball in high school. She was awarded a full women’s basketball scholarship to Penn State and later, to Saint Peter’s University. Courtney played professional basketball for two years for the WNBA’s developmental league, called the National Women’s Basketball League.
As a result of her student athlete experience,
Courtney’s passion is advocating for healthy opportunities for children. She co-founded the “Urban Sports Alliance”, now called “PlayItForward”, a sport based youth development organization that seeks to help underserved youth create opportunities for success through athletics. She is a member of the Black Women in Sport Foundation, serves as the youth representative on USA Track and Field’s Women’s Committee as the youth representative.
Rev. Keith Wright
Pastor Keith D. Wright began his corporate career in 1972 at a time when African-Americans were relatively new to the corporate world. He has held a number of senior management positions and devotes his time helping individuals navigate the executive suite while reconciling their faith practices. He is the author of “Spiritual Oars for Dark Waters,” a practical guide that employs teachings in the Christian faith to support employees’ personal and professional growth.
A native of New Jersey, Wright has held several civic and community positions, including serving as Chair of the Economic Development Corporation, Chair of the YMCA Capital Campaign. Chair of the Mayor’s Community Development Corporation and the Parking Commission for the City of East Orange.
Pastor Wright holds a Ph.D. in Theology from the Newburgh Theological Seminary, a Master’s Degree in General Administration from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in History from Rutgers University. He has also attended Harvard University’s Program for Management Development.
MapSO Freedom School Liaison
MapSO Freedom School Liaison
Walter L. Fields, Jr.
Parent Trustee & Chairman
Walter Fields has been involved in campaigns to preserve the civil justice system, assist families of the incarcerated to preserve familial ties, promote violence reduction between African-American youth, build alliances across diverse communities, close the racial achievement gap in public education, and protect voting rights among a myriad of projects. In addition, he has engaged in a number of international projects aimed at fostering democratization and human rights.
His background includes work as an award-winning journalist and experience in every medium of journalism – daily press, magazines, radio, television and Internet news. Walter Fields has also been a strong advocate for diversity in media and accountability in reporting. He currently serves as the Executive Editor of NorthStarNews.com and principal of Fields Communications, www.walterlfields.com.
Walter Fields holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Morgan State University, a Master’s degree in public administration and a professional certificate in not-for-profit management from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and did post-graduate work as a National Science Foundation Fellow at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is married to Donna Wharton-Fields and they have a daughter, Jordan, who is a 2016 graduate of Columbia High School and currently a student-athlete at the University of Pittsburgh.
Robert Tarver, Esq.